Nepal barred from U-16 C’ship FinalsAsian Football Confederation (AFC) on Monday suspended Nepal from the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship Finals for fielding over-aged player during their Qualifiers
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Monday suspended Nepal from the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship Finals for fielding over-aged player during their Qualifiers last month in Kyrgyzstan.
A random MRI tests during the Qualifiers found out Nepal U-16 skipper Manish Karki to have crossed the legal parameters of competing in the age-group event. The All Nepal Football Association (Anfa) Chief Executive Officer Indra Man Tuladhar confirmed the report. AFC imposed $14,500 fine on Anfa for the violation of regulation. Anfa has also been given 30 days to settle the fine.
“Anfa is warned that any future violation of Article 68 (a) of the Code may lead to the deprivation of the right to take part in a future AFC tournament subject to an age limit,” read an AFC statement. Nepal had qualified for the Finals, to be held in India, as one of the best five runners-up after finishing second behind Oman in Group B in Bishkek on September 20. Eleven group winners and five runners-up had secured their places in the 2016 Finals.
Nepal had defeated Jordan 2-1 on September 16 and hosts Kyrgyzstan 4-2 two days later but had lost to eventual group winners Oman 3-1 on September 20. However, the AFC disciplinary committee ruling on Monday overturned the results for all three matches as 3-0 against Nepal.
AFC had conducted a random MRI tests during the Qualifiers on three players including Karki with the other two being striker Rejin Subba and goalkeeper Arpan Karki. Anfa CEO Tuladhar said they had conducted the age verification tests themselves, the reports of which was dispatched to AFC prior to the Qualifiers. “We had done nothing wrong against the tournament regulation,” said the Anfa CEO. Tuladhar said they will appeal against the suspension.
The U-16 coach Upendra Man Singh lamented that his hard work all went in vain. “Almost all the players of the squad came from Anfa Academy and it appears that some forged their age from the very beginning,” said the former national team skipper Singh. “Parents and the players must be more responsible to avoid such embarrassment,” added Singh.
It was second time in two years that the Nepal U-16 team has been fined for fielding over-aged players. Nepal were fined $2,000 and the results overturned during the AFC U-16 Championship in Thailand last year. Nepal U-16 team was also banned for two years for the same violation during the AFC U-16 Championship in Vietnam in 2000.